TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016)
With today's social media, movies and even television shows being over-saturated with the word "zombies" today is making it difficult to find something to be exactly that entertaining. Lately some of the ventures into the zombie world have been flat, lackluster or even downright horrible. If not for shows like The Walking Dead or Fear the Walking Dead or the classic films that were directed by George Romero, Lucio Fulci and yes even Danny Boyle, his 28 Days Later film spawned a sequel and gave us a new twist on zombies or as we call them rage filled killing machines. But this film we are reviewing here has all the elements of those directors and brings forth an entertaining film that needs to be seen by the fans around the world.
Yeon Sang-ho's "Train to Busan" is an entertaining ride through the heart of despair and turmoil. Showing you the way society reacts to a situation if it happened now. How would they feel towards other people? The feelings of hate and unknowing as they move forward with what the tragedy has brought forth for them to deal with. This film is sure to leave the viewer like it did me extremely satisfied. And this is a zombie movie that I felt at first was just going to be that one movie that was going to be the same old story-line where the virus infects people and all hell breaks loose and we have another cheap rip-off. But this movie has elements that could easily make it a drama movie rather than a horror flick.
Our main character Seok-woo is a divorced father who just happens to have filled his seemingly now broken world with the one thing that could replace happiness and joy and that is work. He's become so involved with his own work that he has no relationship with his estranged daughter Su-an, whose one wish before her birthday was to go see her mother in Busan. After long debates and a present he already bought her before Seok-woo gives into his daughter's wish and buys them their train tickets to Busan. Now Sang-ho sets up the rest of the characters for the movie on this same train by introducing to a train conductor, a couple whose expecting a child, a baseball team, an ignorant business man and even two elderly women and a seemingly harmless yet homeless man. Its before the doors shut on the train and unexpectedly that a young woman whose infected stumbles onto the train and that's when all the chaos begins aboard this soon to be train ride to hell.
Now it is there that the infected become the mindless killing machines that are similar to films like 28 Days Later or World War Z. They seem to attack and bite to infect but not eat as they are not seen tearing flesh from the bones and eating it. It's like they attack for the fact of adding numbers to their ranks and like a virus set out to take over that's what this one seemingly does. The fact that they film is shot on a train and the elements of being boxed in or closed in during certain situations makes for the viewer to feel that uncomfortable feeling being claustrophobic. But unlike the other films this one adds a certain surprise and pretty an excellent ally for the characters who try to survive this film and that's when the elements of darkness happens. The survivors are given a chance to walk around their zombie-like fiends because the darkness blinds them rather than giving them the better playing ground and also that the virus makes they mindless creatures they don't have the brain power to use the door handle to open the doors. But it is the cast of characters who benefit from the sacrifice of others that help them along their way to help make this film become something more than a run of the mill zombie film. I refuse to give much more away of this film because it is definitely a film that needs to be seen.
Now here I am telling you before hand that you have to see this movie and all I can say is that the first hour of the movie is great and then it does slow down the pace some what before ramping it up for its a train derailing finale that will take whatever is left of our cast and cut them down to a shocking low number. The final sacrifice is sure to bring tears to the viewers eyes as its one that you won't see coming. So if you can find this film anywhere in theaters, VOD Demand or even a digital download. Get it and watch it and you will be satisfied.
reviewed by Bucky